Either St. Roch Market is a farmers market with an illegal liquor license, or St. Roch Market is a restaurant paid for with federal recovery dollars illicitly allocated by the City of New Orleans. Bayou Secret collects from eleven businesses comes to a total of $49,500. The monthly collective rent of eleven vendors, paying for individual stalls and the use of a collective kitchen, is at least 14 times greater than the rent Bayou Secret pays to the City of New Orleans each month for the entire building.The St. Roch Market was renovated and "put back into commerce" using federal community block grants. The building is owned by the city of New Orleans. The management team has figured out an efficient way to squeeze the juice out of that melon, though. How entrepreneurial.
Regardless of sales, $4,500 is the minimum monthly rent for vendors. This figure can be even higher for vendors doing well, with some rents exceeding $10,000. A centralized point of sale system, powered through the software system Square, allows Bayou Secret to closely monitor all individual vendor sales and garner varying percentages of gross sales. Bayou Secret places higher percentages on lower earning vendors. Higher earning vendors pay smaller percentages, although they still pay more in rent than vendors earning less. The more a vendor makes, the more Bayou Secret collects. No ceiling is placed on this collection.
A single vendor, paying the minimum rent and a single full-time employee at the federal minimum wage ($7.25 per hour), would need to spend $5,600 each month to cover these basic operating expenses. This figure doesn’t factor in the staffing issues related to the market being open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday with an additional hour on Thursday through Saturday, totalling 96 hours per week. The above figure of basic expenses also doesn’t include the cost of product or any other costs associated with the running of individual businesses. Considering the exorbitant overhead, along with the lengthy business hours, it is uncertain how this could be a tenable arrangement for vendors. Nonetheless, Bayou Secret’s uncapped earnings facilitated through all sales occurring via a centralized system ensure income for St. Roch Market’s management.
Monday, July 13, 2015